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Report: NHL to announce Leafs-Wings Winter Classic in ‘early spring’

Feb 20, 2013, 12:09 PM EDT

Mike Ilitch, Gary Bettman AP

Winter Classic. Big House. Red Wings. Maple Leafs. Take two!

According to the Toronto Star, that’s the plan.

It’s all still very hush-hush, but the Maple Leafs and Red Wings will indeed play next January in the NHL’s next installment of the Winter Classic.

This year’s game, scheduled for New Year’s Day, was cancelled due to the lockout. It was expected to draw 110,000 fans.

But the Star has learned that the NHL is closing in on final talks with officials at the University of Michigan for use of its football stadium, and with the Detroit Tigers for use of Comerica Park in what would be a weeklong festival of hockey capped of by the NHL game.

“My guess is we will officially announce plans in early spring,” a source told the Star.

No surprise here. The NHL was never going to let the lockout keep this event from happening, even it’s going to happen a year late.

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